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3.5 

March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women

By Kate Bolick & Jenny Zhang &
March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women by Kate Bolick & Jenny Zhang &  digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

Four acclaimed female authors—including Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley and In the Dream House author Carmen Carmen Maria Machado—reflect on their lifelong engagement with Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel of girlhood and growing up.

Kate Bolick, Jenny Zhang, Carmen Maria Machado, and Jane Smiley explore their strong lifelong personal engagement with Alcott’s novel Little Women—what it has meant to them and why it still matters. Each takes her subject as one of the four March sisters, reflecting on their stories and what they can teach us about life.
 
Meg March by Kate Bolick: The New York Times–bestselling author of Spinster finds parallels in oldest sister Meg’s brush with glamour at the Moffats’ ball and her own complicated relationship with clothes.
 
Jo March by Jenny Zhang: The short story writer of Sour Heart confesses to liking Jo least among the sisters when she first read the novel as a girl, uncomfortable in finding so much of herself in a character she feared was too unfeminine.
 
Beth March by Carmen Maria Machado: The In the Dream House author writes about the real-life tragedy of Lizzie Alcott, the inspiration for third sister Beth, and the horror story that can result from not being the author of your own life's narrative.

Amy March by Jane Smiley: The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of A Thousand Acres rehabilitates the reputation of youngest sister Amy, whom she sees as a modern feminist role model for those of us who are, well, not like the fiery Jo.
 
These four voices come together to form a deep, funny, far-ranging meditation on the power of great literature to shape our lives.

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16 Reviews

3.5
“Little Women is such a special book to me. Nearly everyone who knows me also knows this fact. So I have always been interested in anything having to do with the work. I started this book randomly just as something to listen to. I thought it was a great concept to divide up the sisters between four different authors and have them analyze the characters through their own lenses. I loved getting to hear their thoughts. I especially loved the chapter on Beth. I thought it was a stand-out. In the end, it was an interesting take on the source material and I liked getting to read what these women thought, but in the end I don't think this is a book that will stick with me in the long run.”

About Kate Bolick

KATE BOLICK is the author of Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own and is a contributing editor to The Atlantic.

JENNY ZHANG is a writer and poet based in New York City and the author of the story collection Sour Heart.

CARMEN MARIA MACHADO is the author of the story collection Her Body and Other Parties and a contributor to The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Guernica, and other publications.

JANE SMILEY is the author of many novels, works of nonfiction, and books for young adults, including A Thousand Acres and The Last Hundred Years trilogy, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Kate Bolick lives in Brooklyn.

Jenny Zhang lives in New York City.

Carmen Maria Machado lives in Philadelphia.

Jane Smiley lives in northern California.

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